# Tagged Questions

For requesting, clarifying, and comparing definitions of mathematical terms.

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### What are imaginary numbers?

At school I really struggled to understand the concept of imaginary numbers. My teacher told us that an imaginary number is a number which has something to do with the square root of $-1$. When I ...
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### Are “if” and “iff” interchangeable in definitions?

In some books the word "if" is used in definitions and it is not clear if they actually mean "iff" (i.e "if and only if"). I'd like to know if in mathematical literature in general "if" in definitions ...
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### Is infinity a number?

Is infinity a number? Why or why not? Some commentary: I've found that this is an incredibly simple question to ask — where I grew up, it was a popular argument starter in elementary school &#...
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### What is a number?

A dictionary I consulted said a 'number' is a 'quantity', so I looked up what quantity means and the same dictionary said it is an amount or number of some material or thing. Since quantity and ...
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### Definition of degree of finite morphism plus context

Let $f: X \rightarrow Y$ be a finite morphism of schemes, defined here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finite_morphism I always assumed that the degree of $f$ was the degree of the induced field ...
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### Why $\lim\limits_{n\to \infty}\left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)^n$ doesn't evaluate to 1?

I am trying to identify what the flaw is exactly when reasoning about a limit such as the definition of $\mathbf e$: $$\lim_{n\rightarrow \infty}\left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)^n={e}$$ Now, I know ...
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### In arbitrary commutative rings, what is the accepted definition of “associates”?

In an integral domain, the following are equivalent: $r \mid s$ and $s \mid r$ $r=us$ for some unit $u$ However in arbitrary commutative rings this is no longer the case; in particular, (2) ...
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### Why is closure omitted in some group definitions?

In some texts, there are three group axioms and in some there are four. The difference is that one of the axioms, the closure ($a,b\in G$ then $a*b \in G$) is omitted. Why is this so?
### Is the 'variable' in 'let $y=f(x)$' free, bound, or neither?
Consider the string 'Let $y = f(x)$." Suppose that it occurs in some elementary context, such as when graphing the function $f$ using $x$/$y$ coordinates. How is this to be understood in predicate ...
Give: $fn(S)=\prod_{x\in S}x$ what is: $fn(\emptyset)$ I can see reason that it would be defined as 1 or 0. Note: I thought about restricting the domain of $S$ but that would make the problem ...